BANGKOK—Thailand said on Saturday it would ban the entry of people traveling from 8 African countries it designated as high risk for the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Starting in December, travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, will be prohibited, senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference.
Thailand will not allow travelers from these countries to register to travel to Thailand starting on Saturday, he said.
The announcement came as other countries in Asia tighten borders over worries about the B 1.1.529 variant. The World Health Organization designated it the latest "variant of concern," saying it may spread more quickly than other forms.
"We have notified airlines and these countries," Opas said adding that travelers from other African countries will not be allowed to use the country's quarantine-free travel scheme for vaccinated travelers. (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and William Mallard)